Mixed bag today; Severe risk SW tonight; NOAA Satellite back after “space junk” encounter

Convective Debris

“Look mom, there are a few convective debris clouds!”

That might have been the exclamation from an excited teenager a while back who would go on from a misspent youth watching cloud formations and radars to become a weather guy for WCCO-TV and MPR.

“Honey, nobody knows what “convective debris” is…they’re just “clouds.”

Little did mom know that a knowledge hungry public radio audience actually cared about cloud types…and why they can affect the forecast.

Thank goodness for the most weather savvy listeners in the world in Minnesota.

77 high temp at MSP Monday

Warmest day so far in June…by 5 degrees!

Slight Risk for severe storms and “bow echoes” tonight according to SPC for SW MN

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Mixed weather bag next 24-30 hours:

Our more “typical” June weather pattern brings another twist today.

A batch of “nocturnal T-Storms” is eroding as it slides east into Minnesota today. Scattered AM showers in west central MN will tend to fade today…but a stray shower/T-Storm cannot be ruled out especially west of the metro. A batch of leftover clouds… the aforementioned “convective debris” will have us dodging in and out of sunshine today.

The “near solstice” intensity of the June sun means it won’t take long for temps to rebound once the sun peeks out today.

Bottom line? Expect a little bit of everything today and tonight…from a stray shower-to sunny hours-to strong/severe T-Storms later tonight.

SPC: Slight Risk includes southern Minnesota:

Minnesota sits on the edge of a massive heat dome to the south & west.

Check out high temperatures from Monday from The Weather Channel.

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Temps soared to 104 in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. Strong storms like to ride the edge of massive summer heat domes…and these “ridge runners” will favor eastern South Dakota and southern Minnesota through tonight and early Wednesday.

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Damaging winds and hail will be the primary severe threat…with SPC making mention of potential “bow echoes” in Minnesota tonight.


WHEN THE PRIMARY PORTION OF THE APPROACHING IMPULSE PROGRESSES EAST OF THE ROCKIES…CONSOLIDATION OF STORMS AND UPSCALE GROWTH INTO AN ORGANIZED MESOSCALE CONVECTIVE SYSTEM IS EXPECTED. THIS SEEMS MOST PROBABLE SOMETIME THIS EVENING…NEAR/NORTH OF THE NEBRASKA/SOUTH DAKOTA BORDER…EASTWARD INTO AREAS NEAR OR JUST SOUTH OF THE MINNESOTA/IOWA BORDER…WILL STILL BE STRONG AND SUPPORTIVE OF DAMAGING WIND POTENTIAL IN ADDITION TO THE RISK FOR LARGE HAIL.

Bow echoes are notorious for producing localised straight line wind damage and hail as they race eastward.

Keep an eye out for strong storms overnight, especially in southern Minnesota just south of the metro including Sioux Falls, Redwood Falls, Mankato, Rochester and La Crosse.

Scattered rain and thunder will linger into Wednesday AM. heres’ the outlook from the Twin Cities NWS.

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Sunnier and more tranquil weather returns Thursday and Friday, with another shot of rain & thunder possible Friday night into Saturday AM.

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“GOES East” back in action after “space junk” collision:

You may recall me talking about how NOAA’s eastern weather satellite “GOES 13″ went dark on May 22nd.

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NOAA engineers found out why, and have restored the satellite to full service.

It turns out a so called “micrometeoroid” …a pice of “space junk was the likely culprit.

The space debris from another satellite likely hit the solar array arm of GOES 13 and knocked it off balance on May 22nd…forcing a shutdown as a precaution.

GOES 13 appears to be undamaged, and is back in service just in time for the bulk of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Climate Central’s Andrew Freedman has more.


According to a NOAA press release, engineers were finally able to pinpoint why the satellite, known as GOES-13, had a sudden disruption in its orientation toward Earth on May 22. NOAA said Monday that a micrometeoroid, possibly from debris left over from other space missions — otherwise known as “space junk,” — likely hit the arm for the satellite’s solar array panel, which knocked the satellite off balance.

The sudden jolt prompted the satellite to automatically shut down, as a safety precaution.

“The team of engineers — from NOAA, NASA, Boeing and Exelis — determined the collision did not damage GOES-13′s instruments, or the satellite itself,” NOAA said.

The return to service of GOES-13 means that the U.S. once again has its full complement of geostationary weather satellites in service. These satellites stay in a fixed orbit at an altitude of about 22,300 miles above the equator, allowing them to keep a constant vigil over the Earth. That is critical now that the 2013 North Atlantic Hurricane season has begun. During the period when GOES-13 was out of service, Tropical Storm Andrea formed in the Gulf of Mexico and produce widespread flooding from Florida to Maine. In fact, NOAA postponed initial plans to bring GOES-13 back into service on June 6 because of the risk that it would cause temporary data interruptions while the storm was still a threat.

Who knew it was so dangerous in orbit 22,300 miles above the earth?

Paul Huttner